Yesterday began my weekly visits to see my OB. I thought my body hasn’t changed much since I didn’t feel different from last week. Oh boy was I wrong!
First off, I made it over the 200 pound mark. When the nurse weighed me in, she immediately moved the large counter weight to a different weight group and I said, “Oh man, 200 pounds already?” We both giggled at my statement. I asked her while she was taking my blood pressure, “Is it normal to gain 4 pounds in a week?” The only reason why I asked her this was because she was the same nurse who took my vitals last week. She politely responded by saying this, “Well you’re pregnant…you also ate before you came here.” Nice save and good cover up, but thanks for comforting me. My blood pressure was perfect showing 117/82 and quickly I was shuffled off to see the ultrasound technician to take pictures of my belly and cervix. Baby looked very healthy, active and even switched sides in my belly, but my cervix didn’t. After shuffling from room to room, the doctor walks in and reviews the ultrasound pictures and notes taken by the technician. He tells me that my cervix has shortened in length by 2 cm, but luckily my cervix isn’t thinning yet (a sign of early labor). He asked me if I’ve had any sex and orgasms in which I responded “no”. He asked me if I’m lifting things, doing strenuous activity/work, or feel any contractions in which I responded “no”. In short, the rate at which my cervix is shortening is definitely alarming but not to the point of jumping into conclusions of an early delivery in the upcoming days. The best thing the doctor recommended is to continue abstaining from sex and orgasms, receive my weekly 17p shots and take it easy. I asked him, “Is this a sign that the 17p shots aren’t working if my cervix is shortening?” He said, “No, it’s working because if you didn’t receive them, you would’ve delivered already.”
I drove home from the doctor’s office not thinking much about what he told me. I was bummed that my body is acting in a way that it’s ready to pop out this baby. I got a phone call from my sister asking me how was my doctor’s visit. Then I completely lost it! I was crying hysterically, hyperventilating and just couldn’t use any words to express how I felt. I told her the news and she was comforting me as best as she could. We both agreed that we can’t control how my body is reacting to baby #2. All I can do is be hopeful that when the time comes, baby will be born healthy. She even asked me, “Are you afraid to go through the same motion you went with the first one?” I said, “Are you kidding me? ABSOLUTELY!”
I wasn’t ready for what happened before and after I delivered my premature baby girl 7 years ago. I wasn’t ready to see her all tubed up, hooked onto machines monitoring her vital signs and living in an incubated box for 2 months. I remember after delivering my daughter, a nurse walked into my room in the middle of the night taking my vitals and she caught me crying. That morning, I woke up to a therapist with his student talking to me about postpartum depression. I barked at them saying, “I just delivered a premature baby. I don’t need this. I’m still in shock and very hungry; not depressed!” I wasn’t ready for any of this and I don’t know if I’m ready to go through it again. Just thinking about it takes an emotional toll. As I’m writing this down, it’s giving me anxiety thinking that it’s possible for baby #2 to come early. The doctor is very confident that I can make it to 32 weeks as long as I follow his instructions. I’ve met moms whose first born was born prematurely, but their subsequent children were born at full term. I was hopeful that that could be me when I decided to become pregnant again. I think that’s why my husband and I prolonged having children after our first one.
Premature delivery and everything that comes with it is a lifetime commitment to help your child catch up in their development. Besides recommendations and instructions from professionals, there is no book to guide you in raising a preemie. I’ve shared this belief to many people and they agree that no book really prepares you for parenting in general. It takes a village to raise a child from the advice your parents tell you to your friends who are in the same parenting boat as you. But when you’re the only one in your boat with a different experience from the rest, it’s hard to manage your doubts and uncertainties without reaching a breaking point. I feel like I’m back on that boat again. I don’t personally know of anyone who has had multiple premature deliveries. I didn’t even know it was possible to go through this again. Last night, I cried to my husband and told him my worries and fears. I asked him, “Am I not meant to have kids if they can’t grow in me for 40 weeks?” He told me to not think that way and we just have to take it day by day. The fears and uncertainties outweigh my happiness and joy for baby #2. I don’t know if that’s even right for me to say as a parent. I’m just worried and unsure of what to do or even how to feel about all of this. Like I said last week, please baby #2 stay in there a bit longer…